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Former Potosi cop to stand trial in SFC


Matthew Skaggs (Washington County Sheriff’s Department)

A former Potosi police officer accused of child sex crimes received a change of venue from Washington County Court to St. Francois County Court last week. Matthew N. Skaggs, 40, of Potosi, is charged with one count of felony statutory sodomy or attempted statutory sodomy – deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 14; one count of enticement or attempted enticement of a child less than 15; and one count of endangering the welfare of a child creating substantial risk.

Skaggs was first charged in August 2022 after Potosi Police Chief Mike Gum received complaints from an area resident. According to a probable cause statement, Gum contacted the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) regarding allegations that Skaggs was supplying vape cartridges and Delta 8 (THC) cartridges to a minor in exchange for videos of the minor performing sex acts upon himself. The minor allegedly told police he and Skaggs had been exchanging vape products for pornographic videos for several months.

MSHP investigators say they viewed screenshots of Snapchat messages between Skaggs and the minor discussing Skaggs supplying vape cartridges. One of the messages allegedly stated, “Can I ask you a question and you be honest with me? Did it bother you to send me pics and videos or when I touched you?” 

The minor allegedly told investigators he met with Skaggs at the Potosi R-3 Kindergarten Center in the late spring to receive vape cartridges. The report states that the minor rode his bike to the center and met Skaggs – who arrived in his Potosi Police car, wearing his uniform. Skaggs allegedly told the boy he was on his lunch break and to get into the car. According to the report, the minor got into the front passenger seat of the police car, and Skaggs touched the boy’s private area underneath his clothes. The minor says in the report that he did not like it and made an excuse to leave. Skaggs allegedly gave him vape cartridges during that incident.

The minor claims to have sent approximately 20 sexually explicit pictures and videos of himself to Skaggs and claims Skaggs said he has the same arrangement with another teen. According to the report, the minor said Skaggs did not tell him the other boy’s name.

Investigators claim that during an interview with Skaggs, he admitted to trading vape cartridges for nude pictures and videos of the reported minor. The report also states Skaggs admitted to touching the minor’s buttocks through his clothing, but he denied any sexual contact under the clothes.

Skaggs pleaded not guilty to all charges in Washington County court on Aug. 21 and was granted a change of venue. A trial is scheduled for 8:30 a.m., Sept. 22, at the St. Francois County Courthouse. Skaggs is out on a $100,000 bond with special conditions. 

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